Jim Inhofe

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Jim Inhofe
Jim Inhofe.jpg
U.S. Senate, Oklahoma
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 20
PredecessorDavid L. Boren (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 8, 1994
Next general November 4, 2014
Campaign $$10,462,472
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Representative, United States House of Representatives
Mayor, City of Tulsa
Senator, Oklahoma State Senate
Bachelor'sEconomics, University of Tulsa, 1973
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1957-1958
Date of birthNovember 17, 1934
Place of birthTulsa, OK
Net worth$7,522,523
Office website
Jim Inhofe (b. November 17, 1934, in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Oklahoma. Inhofe was first elected to the Senate in 1994.

Inhofe most recently won re-election to the Senate in 2008. He defeated Andrew Rice (D) and Stephen P. Wallace (I) in the general election on November 4, 2008.

His current term will expire January 3, 2015. In August 2013, Inhofe confirmed that he ran for re-election in 2014. "I went home and I talked to my wife and I said, ‘You know, we’ve got a serious problem here; we’re going to have this guy around for four more years. I just can’t bail out now," he stated.[1] Inhofe won the Republican nomination in the primary on June 24, 2014.[2]

Inhofe began his political career in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, serving from 1967 to 1969. He was then elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in 1968 and served in that position until 1977. Inhofe went on to be Mayor of Tulsa from 1978 to 1984. He then served in the U.S. House from 1987 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 1994.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Inhofe is one of the most reliable Republican votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Republican Party in Congress.


Below is an abbreviated outline of Inhofe's academic, professional and political career:[3]

  • 1957-1958: Served in the U.S. Army
  • 1967-1969: Oklahoma House of Representatives
  • 1973: Graduated from University of Tulsa
  • 1969-1977: Oklahoma State Senate
  • 1978-1984: Mayor of Tulsa
  • 1987-1994: U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1995-Present: U.S Senator from Oklahoma

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Inhofe serves on the following Senate committees:[4]

  • Armed Services
    • Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
    • Subcommittee on SeaPower
    • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
    • Subcommittee on Personnel
    • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
    • Subcommittee on Airland
  • Environment and Public Works
    • Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    • Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health
    • Subcommittee on Oversight


Inhofe served on the following Senate committees:[5]

  • Armed Services
    • Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
    • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
    • Subcommittee on Airland
  • Environment and Public Works
  • Foreign Relations
    • Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women's Issues
    • Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection
    • Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    • Subcommittee on African Affairs

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[6] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Inhofe's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Nay3.png Inhofe voted against the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[8]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[9][10][11]

According to the website Breitbart, Inhofe was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[12][13]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[14]


Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Neutral/Abstain During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[15] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Inhofe was the only senator who did not vote on the bill.[16]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Inhofe voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[17]


Mexico-U.S. border

Neutral/Abstain Inhofe did not vote on Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[18]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Nay3.png Inhofe voted against S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[19]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Inhofe voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[20]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Jim Inhofe endorsed Rick Perry in the 2012 presidential election. [21]


A Washington Post investigation in February 2012 revealed that 33 members of Congress helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to public projects in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members.[22] According to the report, Inhofe has helped secure about $1.8 million in earmarks to study the widening of U.S. 169, which passes near an office building that his wife co-owns.[23]


On The Issues Vote Match

Inhofe's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Inhofe is a Moderate Conservative. Inhofe received a score of 30 percent on social issues and 63 percent on economic issues.[24]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[25]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Neutral Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Opposes Maintain US sovereignty from UN Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[24] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.



See also: United States Senate elections in Oklahoma, 2014

On August 7, 2013, Inhofe announced his campaign for re-election in 2014, stating, "I went home and I talked to my wife and I said, ‘You know, we’ve got a serious problem here; we’re going to have this guy around for four more years. I just can’t bail out now.'"[26]

Republican primary

Inhofe defeated D. Jean McBride-Samuels, Erick Wyatt, Evelyn Rogers and Rob Moye in the Republican primary on June 24, 2014.[2] The general election took place November 4, 2014.

U.S. Senate, Oklahoma Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJim Inhofe Incumbent 87.7% 231,131
Erick Wyatt 4.5% 11,950
Evelyn Rogers 4.4% 11,701
Rob Moye 1.8% 4,841
D. Jean McBride-Samuels 1.5% 3,960
Total Votes 263,583
Source: Results via Associated Press


  • Despite a pledge to steer clear of endorsing incumbents, Ted Cruz has financially backed a handful of Senate Republicans, including fellow Texan John Cornyn[27]
    • Cruz’s leadership political action committee, Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund, made only five donations in the first six months of its existence, and all of those dollars went to incumbents. On May 10, 2013, according to Federal Election Commission records, Cruz wrote a $2,500 check to the campaign of Cornyn.[27]
    • Cruz also handed out out four other $2,500 donations to incumbents that same day: Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, Jim Risch and Tim Scott, who was appointed to the Senate after Jim DeMint resigned and is running in 2014 for the remaining years of DeMint’s term.[27]
  • FreedomWorks endorsed Inhofe on March 17, 2014.[28]


Poll Jim Inhofe Matt SilversteinOtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
July 15-16, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


On November 4, 2008, James M. Inhofe won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Andrew Rice (D) and Stephen P. Wallace (I) in the general election.[29]

U.S. Senate, Oklahoma General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJim Inhofe incumbent 56.7% 763,375
     Democrat Andrew Rice 39.2% 527,736
     Independent Stephen P. Wallace 4.1% 55,708
Total Votes 1,346,819

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Inhofe is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Inhofe raised a total of $10,462,472 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 22, 2013.[37]

Jim Inhofe's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 US Senate (Oklahoma) Won $6,484,560
2002 US Senate (Oklahoma) Won $3,977,912
Grand Total Raised $10,462,472


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Inhofe’s reports.[38]

Defense contractors

According to a July 2013 Politico report, Inhofe made the top 10 list of Hill members receiving defense industry contributions. As of July 2013, Inhofe had received more than $42,000 from top defense firms.[48]


Breakdown of the source of Inhofe's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Inhofe won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Inhofe 's campaign committee raised a total of $6,484,560 and spent $6,428,174.[49]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Inhofe's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $3,534,047 to $11,510,999. That averages to $7,522,523, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican Senate members in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Inhofe ranked as the 18th most wealthy senator in 2012.[50] Between 2004 and 2012, Inhofe‘s calculated net worth[51] increased by an average of 10 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[52]

Jim Inhofe Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:78%
Average annual growth:10%[53]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[54]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Inhofe is a "far-right Republican" as of June 2013.[55]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[56]

Inhofe most often votes with:

Inhofe least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Inhofe missed 220 of 6,093 roll call votes between December 1994 to April 2013. This amounts to 3.6 percent, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.[57]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Inhofe paid his congressional staff a total of $2,531,750 in 2011. He ranked 19th on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 45th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Oklahoma ranked 35th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[58]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Inhofe ranked 14th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[59]


Inhofe ranked 9th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[60]

Voting with party


Inhofe voted with the Republican Party 92.0 percent of the time, which ranked 11th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[61]


Inhofe and his wife, Kay, have four children.

Death of son

Inhofe's son, Perry, died in a plane crash on November 10, 2013. Perry, an orthopedic surgeon, had learned to fly with his father, an avid pilot, when he was younger.[62]

2013 heart surgery

During the October 2013 government shutdown, Inhofe underwent an emergency quadruple bypass surgery. Doctors had discovered blocked arteries during a colonoscopy. Inhofe released a statement stating:

"I encourage my colleagues in Washington to work with vigilance to reopen the government with a bill that represents Oklahomans and all of Americans. I may miss some upcoming votes on the Continuing Resolution, but my doctors agree I will return soon and even stronger to continue the fight to protect Oklahomans' freedoms."[63]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Jim + Inhofe + Oklahoma + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Jim Inhofe News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Jim Inhofe


  1. The Washington Post, "Inhofe will seek re-election," August 8, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Associated Press, "Oklahoma - Summary Vote Results," accessed June 24, 2014
  3. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Jim Inhofe," accessed October 24, 2011
  4. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  5. Project Vote Smart, "Biography," accessed April 2, 2014
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  9. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  10. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  11. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  12. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  13. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  14. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  19. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  20. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  21. The Hill, "2012 GOP lawmaker endorsements for president," accessed November 22, 2011
  22. Washington Post, "Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers' properties," February 6, 2012
  23. Washington Post, "Mapping the earmarks," February 6, 2012
  24. 24.0 24.1 On The Issues, "Inhofe Vote Match," accessed July 1, 2014
  25. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  26. The Washington Post, "Inhofe will seek re-election," August 8, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Washington Post, "Cruz backed Cornyn, other incumbents, despite no-endorsement pledge," accessed August 26, 2013
  28. Politico, "FreedomWorks backs Ted Yoho, Tim Scott, Mark Sanford," accessed March 19, 2014
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1988," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for James M. Inhofe," accessed April 22, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Jim Inhofe Summary Report," accessed August 5, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed August 5, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed August 5, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End Quarterly," accessed November 3, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 22, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-Primary," accessed November 3, 2014
  45. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed November 3, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 3, 2014
  47. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-General," accessed November 3, 2014
  48. Politico, "Top 10 Hill recipients of defense contributions," accessed July 11, 2013
  49. Open Secrets, "Jim Inhofe 2008 Election Cycle," accessed October 29, 2011
  50. Open Secrets, "Inhofe, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  51. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  52. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  53. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  54. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  55. GovTrack, "Jim Inhofe," accessed June 7, 2013
  56. OpenCongress, "Sen. James Inhofe," accessed August 22, 2013
  57. GovTrack, "Jim Inhofe," accessed April 17, 2013
  58. LegiStorm, "Jim Inhofe"
  59. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," March 7, 2013
  60. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  61. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  62. Politico, "Report: Jim Inhofe son dies in plane crash," accessed November 11, 2013
  63. The Washington Post, "Sen. Inhofe recovering from heart surgery," accessed October 8, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
David L. Boren
U.S. Senate - Oklahoma
Succeeded by